When I asked this teacher about her favorite house decorating colors, she responded, “I love all kinds of earthy tones. Right now, my house is full of browns, tans, olive greens, and a few red accents.”
With this, I ran with the tan and olive green (plus about 7 other greens) and created this quilt.
The difficult part of this quilt was figuring out what the final dimensions would be. Another hard part about this quilt was somehow, I doubled the number of blocks that I made, so I ended up with a lot of extra half-square triangle blocks. It all worked out, though, because I was able to make this quilt for my cousin with the extra blocks.
You’ve got to love the versatility of the half square triangle!
The tans are actually two different cotton/linen blends. I couldn’t remember which brand I initially bought, so I just guessed. Close enough. 🙂
I purchased this wonderful zigzag (or chevron) print when it was on sale, and although the front doesn’t have any white, my husband and I both agreed that it complimented the design of the quilt. We had the kids sign their names in their hand prints (or their “Live Long and Prosper” prints) and flanked the signed panel with this zigzag for the back.
I didn’t have enough time to quilt this as densely as I normally would have, but I wanted to still follow the lines and make it look good. So, instead of echoing both sides of each seam (which I would have done had I the time), I quilted along the tan side of each seam, about 3/8 of an inch away from the seam line.
This quilt ended up being 66.5 inches wide by 84.5 inches long. It now folded and bound together, ready to be delivered this next week at school.
I sold a quilt last month, and within a few hours received a request to make another one just like it. I’m not usually into making the same quilt twice (unless I am making them both at the same time), but I’m easily flattered :), so I decided to go ahead and make another one.
This quilt was 18 blocks wide and 23 blocks long. Before washing, it measured 73 inches by 93 inches. After washing, it shrank down to 69 inches by 89 inches.
The client asked for an aqua color for the background, and I have to admit that I am secretly in love with this color. It was a perfect fit. I also used some of the leftover prints to add a little design detail to the back.
She also wanted a scrappy binding, and I agree that it is a great way to frame this quilt. I wanted it to be somewhat unified, so I went with cool colors for this binding.
Overall, I am so pleased with this quilt. I used a straight line stitch echoing the vertical and horizontal seams 1/4 inch away from the seams. I love this quilting style for this type of quilt.
Making a custom quilt was a little bit stressful, but she gave me creative freedom, and I think we were both in agreement about how the quilt should look in the end. I hope she loves it!
My next big quilt project is called “Draw Bus.” I sketched out a picture of all of the automobiles my son constantly wants me to draw. I am missing “whoooOOOOoooo” which is his word for fire truck, but I will definitely quilt that one later. This quilt will be 16 blocks tall (2.5 in. each) and 27 blocks wide. I may add another row to the top. Time will tell.
I drew the pattern for this quilt using block patches that are common throughout quilting. There is the snowball, the half-square triangle, the rail-fence, and many more. With some of the blocks I drew out, I needed a little help figuring out how to make them and cut them. Well, guess what! There’s an app for that!
QuiltFab and BlockFab are free quilting apps on the iPhone
It’s called BlockFab. You’ll notice that I also have an app called QuiltFab. I use that one to figure out how much yardage I’ll need for binding or sashing, etc. It’s great! It also has listed the different sizes of beds and what size quilt will be needed for a bedspread and a comforter. Yes, there is a difference. A comforter width is the distance across the bed, plus 13 inches on either side. The comforter length is the length of the bed, plus 13 inches for the bottom. A bedspread width is the bed width plus 21 inches on both sides. The bedspread length is the length plus 21 inches for the bottom and 14 inches for the pillow tuck. If you have an iPhone, I recommend getting it, just because it is cool (and free!)
Back to BlockFab. BlockFab teaches you how to make the standard blocks that make up a quilt. It will tell you how much yardage you need, how to cut and construct each block necessary for your quilt. It also teaches you how to measure and cut different common patches. Here is the list of patches in BlockFab:
A few of the patches found in BlockFab
Some of these blocks I’m pretty familiar with (OK, maybe just square, half square triangle, and quarter square triangle), but I had planned on using others that I was not familiar with. Thanks to BlockFab, I was able to select the final dimensions of my patch (2.5 x 2.5) and it told me the measurements to cut, the amount of fabric I needed and how to cut them. SO GREAT! I used this to make half true rectangle triangles (where the resulting right triangle’s length was twice it’s width) and isosceles 1:1 triangles (where the height of the isosceles triangle is the same as the width of the base–different from equilateral triangle where the lengths of all the sides are the same and the angles are all 60 degrees). I also used this to make snowball patches. Here is the construction of some of my blocks:
The two fabrics that make up my half square triangle
These blocks are 1/2 inch larger than the size of my final block. I drew a diagonal line from corner to corner, then drew two parallel lines on either side 1/4 inch away. I sew on the two outside lines and cut down the middle line once sewn.
After pressing with an iron, I have two resulting half square triangles. And, I even have extra fabric to square up the block (bottom).
I cheated doing the isosceles triangle. I began with a square (about 1/4 inch larger than my final square for wiggle room) and two half true rectangle triangles (since I wanted the resulting block to be 3 x 3, BlockFab had me cut these 2 inches wide and 3 7/8 inches tall.)
I placed the triangle over the square and tried to align the triangle so that the seam would go from the corner of the triangle to a little past the midpoint of the top of the square. I do the same thing with a half true rectangle triangle on the other side.
Isosceles 1:1 triangle before and after cropping.
Here are the resulting triangles after both rectangles are added and the excess square fabric is cut off. The top is before being cropped. The bottom was cropped (or squared up). Notice that the triangle’s top point is about 1/4 inch in from the edge. This is so that, after you sew a 1/4 inch seam, that point lands perfectly next to the next block. Also notice that the bottom two corners of the triangle don’t match up with bottom two corners of the block. This is so that, after a 1/4 inch seam is sewn on both sides, those corners will match up perfectly with the final block.
Two different ways of using the same snowball block method.
Sorry about the blurry image. A snowball block is basically an octagon. While I will be using octagons later, I though I would use the same snowball method, but just for one or two corners of the block. You begin with a larger square (3 x 3) and one to four smaller squares (1 3/8 x 1 3/8). Place small squares on the large square so that the corners match up, and sew from corner to corner on the small squares.
Cut off the extra fabric.
After doing a few half square triangles, Isosceles 1:1 triangles, rail fence and quarter square triangles, I was able to put them together like this. This is not the actual pattern that I will be following (there is a lot more going on in between the trees!) but I think it gives you a good idea on how this quilt is going to come together. Block by block, just simple squares and triangles (and rectangles!) That’s how my brain works.